Regional Issues Heating Up, China Tells BRICS Meet Amid Sikkim Standoff

The highlight of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval's visit was a one-on-one meeting between Mr Doval and China's State Councillor Yang that was expected to thaw the chill in relations between the two countries after the Sikkim standoff. There has been no official word on the meeting.

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Regional Issues Heating Up, China Tells BRICS Meet Amid Sikkim Standoff

NSA Ajit Doval and top security officials met Chinese President Xi Jinping at BRICS meet

NEW DELHI:  In the last leg of his China visit amid the Sikkim standoff, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met Chinese President Xi Jinping in a group session along with top security representatives from BRICS countries.

President Xi spoke about "strategic mutual trust" at the meeting with security czars of the five-nation BRICS grouping that had earlier, spent a larger part of the day discussing issues such as regional security and stress on consensus including those in the region.

While there has been no comment by Mr Doval or his Beijing hosts on the standoff, his Chinese counterpart spoke with concern at "regional hot issues... heating up one after another" at the BRICS meet. Like President Xi and representatives of the four other countries, he too underlined the need to "continuously strengthen strategic mutual trust."

The highlight of the visit, however, was Thursday's one-on-one meeting between Mr Doval and China's State Councillor Yang that was expected to thaw the chill in relations between the two countries after the Sikkim standoff, the longest between the two countries since 1962 war.

There has been no official word from India or China about the outcome of the meeting. Beijing's official news agency only said Mr Yang had "set forth China's position on bilateral issues and major problems". But Chinese state-run media that would deliver a warning to New Delhi have toned down the rhetoric over the last day or two.

China says Indian troops crossed the border at Sikkim in June to stop the Chinese army from constructing a road on a remote Himalayan plateau it calls Donglang. Bhutan says the region is Doklam, and is part of its tiny kingdom.

The row has festered for more than a month and China had pre-conditioned any "meaningful dialogue" between the two countries to India first pulling out its troops.

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